I start out with nuggets of raw resin incense, and some herbs, and blend them together to suit my personal preferences and/or design goals. It's important when doing this to test the blend out to see what your nose thinks it needs to achieve balance.
For resin incense, we use a self-igniting charcoal disk over an incense burner. We like those as pictured above because after the charcoal is burned and turns to ash, you can gently shake it, and the ashes will sift down into the container below, and you can start over without cleaning the burner every time. You'll notice it sits on a small wooden base - this is important as the entire brass burner gets very hot from the charcoal, and the base keeps the desk surface safe from scorch marks/burns.
I've used a marble mortar and pestle in the past, but the resins tend to stick to the marble surface (especially if you want to add essential oils to the mix). The brass one pictured here works much better.
The first blend of the week is something I call "Cleansing White Lavender." My intentions were to make something that is good for cleansing away negativity, purifying, and acts as an anti-anxiety scent while leaving one open to new positive experiences. It's a delicate balance of white copal, frankincense, lavender, sage, and Hawaiian white ginger.